Sharing perspectives across Industry Sectors

Group of people

It was a busy week at Umwelt last week, with our social team hosting a contingent of NZ visitors from both the North and South Islands, recipients of the prestigious Nuffield Scholarship Program. The group representing a number of agricultural sectors – dairy, horticulture, viticulture and agriculture (grain and sheep and beef) are visiting NSW as part of their scholarship program, learning about global agri-food systems and translating experiences from other relevant sectors.

The workshop, involving the 5 Nuffield Scholars and members of the Umwelt Social and Environment team, specifically provided an opportunity to share perspectives and challenges around Social Licence to Operate across both agricultural and extractive industry sectors, with similar issues faced in regard to carbon emissions, water quality impacts and social impacts.

Led by Umwelt’s National Social Practice Lead, Dr Sheridan Coakes, who in her 25-year career has worked extensively in social impact assessment and social performance across a range of industry sectors, the workshop focused on: how best to involve key stakeholders in issue/impact identification to afford representation of stakeholder voices and perspectives; the application of methodologies to assess community resilience to change and to document the social and economic contribution of industry presence at local community and regional scales; and the development of more sustainable businesses through relevant technical, educational and engagement strategies and partnerships.

The ability to translate learnings from past processes and practice in the extractive industry sector e.g. forestry, mining, oil and gas, water was a key outcome of the workshop session, with all who participated obtaining a greater appreciation of the potential application of good social science in policy planning and business decision making.

We wish our NZ colleagues well as they embark upon their broader scholarship program.

If you would like to know how our Social team can help you, please ring Sheridan on 1300 793 267.